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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    When, while, whilst

    Hi guys,

    What is the difference between "When", "While" and "Whilst"? I tried searching on net but I am still confused.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: When, while, whilst

    I was distracted by girls in bikinis while I was on the computer. What was the question?

    I'll do it when I have time to get to it. Meanwhile, I'm looking at those girls in bikinis.

    (I don't think I've ever heard anybody use "whilst" in my entire life.)



    Do those examples help you to see the difference between when and while?

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    #3

    Re: When, while, whilst

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post

    (I don't think I've ever heard anybody use "whilst" in my entire life.)
    You should come to the UK, Tarheel.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: When, while, whilst

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    ...

    (I don't think I've ever heard anybody use "whilst" in my entire life.)

    ...
    Well I have, but it's very British, quite archaic, and no different in meaning from 'while'.

    Incidentally, there are a few other cases of -st being appended to an adverb with no change of meaning. When I was training to be an altar-boy I was told 'There's nothing in the Hail Mary about "a monk swimming"' [one such pair is among/amongst]

    b

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    #5

    Re: When, while, whilst

    Also unbeknown/unbeknownst.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: When, while, whilst

    Not heard? Archaic? I'm shocked. I use it frequently and my flatmate employs it regularly in his blog posts (which I proofread and edit).

    "While" refers to a time period.
    "Whilst" can be used to mean "although".

    While you were on the phone, I cooked dinner.
    Whilst I like prawns for dinner, you prefer salmon.

    She wrote most of a novel while travelling on the bus to work.
    She writes novels, whilst I write poetry.

    http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dic.../while#while_1
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: When, while, whilst

    "While" can be used for "although" in AmE.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: When, while, whilst

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Also unbeknown/unbeknownst.
    I was going to mention that one, but didn't feel it was appropriate here; I guess I should cultivate a higher expectation of my readers!

    I think there was once a similar pairing between 'again' and 'against' (which now have totally distinct meanings). I know there's still a dialectal 'agin' - /ǝgɪn/ - meaning 'against'; I've heard people say 'I'm agin it'.

    b

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    #9

    Re: When, while, whilst

    When is used when we talk about two long periods and when is used for short period incidents. Am I right?

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: When, while, whilst

    You wrote "when" both times. How would one choose?

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